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"SNL" Creating Sambo-Obama?

3/1/2008 1:26 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Either "SNL" came back from the writer's strike completely color blind or extremely one-sided. The show debuted their new Barack Obama character, which as a surprise to many -- is played by someone who isn't African-American.

A columnist at the ChicagoTribune.com has called out SNL on their choice to have Fred Armisen, who is Hispanic and Asian, portray Obama -- saying the show may be marginalizing African-American performers.

Perhaps "SNL" had their hands tied, because Kenan Thompson, the only African-American male on the cast, isn't exactly in the same weight class as Barack. Seriously, he played "Fat Albert."

137 COMMENTS

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1.

Robert    

Toonces, the cat who could drive a car can play Obama.

2310 days ago
2.

Big Daddy    

Very interesting, thanks

2306 days ago
3.

Poor Hillary    

Poor Hillary. Life and the media are so hard on her. I mean, after the election she may only have $100 million dollars left. It's just so tough to be a filthy rich white woman in today's society. I'm so glad SNL has taken on the task of showing the world how the media has kept her down. I mean, it's not funny, but SNL hasn't been funny for years. But someone needs to defend poor Hillary. She's tired. She's mispeaking because of it. Hope she's not tired at 3AM.

2298 days ago
4.

Poor Hillary    

SNL certainly doesn't show any bias do they? I'm sure next week we'll see yet another skit with the same repetitive message. When did SNL quit doing comedy? Seriously, the show has gotten really awful in last couple years.

2298 days ago
5.

He's Boring now    

They've had a white guy play Jesse Jackson for years, and play him perfectly to, so whats the big deal having a asian hispaninc guy play Obama?

I was color blind to all this till you and the Chicago Tribune pointed it out. I know, it would all make it better if they had Myra Rudolf, a black woman, play Hillary.

Freaking Liberal rebel rousers, the whole lot of you.

2337 days ago
6.

wasted days and wasted nights    

I think the critics need to ease up on SNL.

2337 days ago
7.

D-D    

Last I checked Barack had a white mother and a black father. Being a white male I take offense to Fred Armisen playing Barack because Fred Armisen isn't white enough.

2337 days ago
8.

He's Boring now    

FiSTED

2337 days ago
9.

Jennifer    

Has everyone forgotten that Obama is half white as well? it doesn't matter who plays him, as long as it's funny.

2337 days ago
10.

tinley    

i am black and i do not have a problem with fred armisen playing barack obama. let the record show that barack obama isn't 100% black himself. and when did it matter that a nonblack male play a black male. where are these other african american actors going to come from to play barack? now i'm sure if finesse mitchell were still on the show they'd have him play barack but he's no longer with the cast. and it's not a precedent that they have someone play someone outside of their race. what is the big deal. i think the chicago tribune is just trying to turn this into something it's not. also i don't think that SNL is going to sway votes either way; yes they may get people to think but is that SO BAD?


2337 days ago
11.

whatthe    

Isn't obama half white? The point is to find someone who looks like him. they did that.

2337 days ago
12.

Rod Johnson    

I thought it was funny. That's why I watch the show. So good job SNL !

2337 days ago
13.

He's Boring now    

just as long as it isnt that nutjob who played Mongo a few years back...whatever happened to him? another ex snler goes to hollywood and bombs terribly. Nice to see Will Ferrells new movie get torn to living shreds by the critics since its release yesterday. Mindless, baby talking babbling that has been done over and over and over by this guy and his snl sidekicks.

The movie out, the movie coming out, and the movie being worked on----thats all Will has to talk about these days on any show he appears on. Boring, Stale, overdone and unfunny.

2337 days ago
14.

Party 'till you die!    

Big deal, it was a really lame sketch anyway! I hadn't watched SNL in
years and tuned in to see that sketch. It sucked and he wasn't funny,
so I quit watching about 15 minutes into that night. That show
really, really sucks bad now!

2337 days ago
15.

Donna    

How often have they had a black actor play a white character because of a shortage of white actors? NEVER! Find a deserving unemployed black actor, SNL! What? They're not any available? They are all working somewhere else? What?

2337 days ago
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